SC junks plea asserting 'real minority' in House of Representatives

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 25 2017 03:51 PM | Updated as of Jul 25 2017 04:51 PM

A petition filed by minority lawmakers at the House of Representatives questioning the composition of the minority bloc and the minority leadership of Quezon Representative Danilo Suarez was dismissed on Tuesday by the Supreme Court (SC).

Sitting in an en banc session, the high court magistrates unanimously voted to junk the petition filed by the group of Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat, ruling they “were not entitled to the reliefs sought” in the petition.

Baguilat lost the minority leadership post to Suarez, who was elected in a caucus by those who did not vote for House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

Petitioners argued Baguilat, being the runner-up in the speakership race, should have been declared the minority leader.

They contended Suarez was elected on July 27, 2016 by their colleagues consisting of “pseudo minority members” directed by the “supermajority” to beef up Suarez’s group by abstaining in the election for speaker, and convening to elect Suarez to the minority leader post.

Petitioners further explained Suarez belonged to the majority because he voted for Alvarez, while 10 congressmen who elected Suarez returned to the majority coalition after the election, indicating that their former minority membership was but part of a scheme to install Suarez.

Baguilat’s group further claimed they represent the “authentic minority” and are the “real” oppositionists at the lower chamber.

In its ruling, the high court said the dismissal of the petition “is without prejudice to any other controversy involving the internal rules of the House of Representatives presented in a proper case
seeking judicial review.”